The speculation hasn't quite reached the level of Chelsea Clinton's Upstate New York wedding location, but the buzz is loud in Spain over where first lady Michelle Obama and youngest daughter Sasha, 7, will be camping for their just announced "mother-daughter trip" next week. [See photos of the Obamas behind the scenes.]
The White House said that the Obamas will be traveling with friends next week and will pay a visit to King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia, but that all other details are secret. Neither oldest daughter Malia, 10, who's planning to attend summer camp, or Mrs. Obama's mother are traveling to Spain.
The four-day trip is expected to start August 4, President Obama's birthday, though he's not joining his wife.
While the White House isn't talking, the Spanish media have the Obamas traveling to the country's most fashionable resort town for part or all of their stay: Marbella. And they aren't expected to stay at any old hotel, the Spanish press is speculating. The Obamas are expected to stay at the flamingo pink Hotel Villa Padierna, a Ritz-Carlton property some call the best hotel in Spain.
The company describes it this way: "Surrounded by the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean, this five star hotel in Marbella offers guests a relaxing retreat where luxurious accommodations, championship golf, and a lavish spa give way to awe-inspiring views of the Costa del Sol." [See photos of Michelle Obama.]
The Spanish press says a number of rooms have been reserved for the Obamas, though the Ritz spokeswoman wasn't available to discuss the stay. From August 4-8, the hotel has just a few rooms left for $2,859 a night, but that includes a breakfast buffet. After that, a room could be had for as low as $336 a night.
Unlike a lot of five-star hotels, the Hotel Villa Padierna caters to children like the Obamas. The hotel website says, "In addition to well equipped facilities designed especially for children from 4 to 12 years old, the hotel also offers a calendar of activities such as dancing, singing, sketches comedy with costumes, tale, outdoor games, and much more, always supervised by a specialized children attendant."
There's a beach club, three golf courses, including the famed Flamingos Golf Course, and a spa. It also has five restaurants, all of which serve up the type of fresh fare the Obama chefs are known to favor.
There is a presidential suite of course. And the rooms are segregated into three different wings, making it easy to provide security. Booking.com describes the rooms this way: "Look out over the golf course, gardens, pool, and Roman amphitheater from your guest room. Rooms are divided into 3 wings: Villa Padierna, Linares, and the Amphitheater, with some enjoying access to their own balcony. All have Frette linen bedding on feather beds, fully stocked refreshment cabinets and sitting areas with cable TV. Each one also has a large Travertine bathroom with a bath and separate rain shower, as well as a separate WC with bidet."